How to show formulas in Excel – 3 easy methods

Here are three easy methods!

The microsoft excel logo with the option to Show formulas in Excel on a green background.

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Want to know how to show formulas in Excel? We’ve got you covered.

When using formulas in an Excel spreadsheet, you may want them visible instead of the cell results, or you may want to see them in case you need to edit them. Either way, you’ll need to have your Excel formulas shown rather than being hidden from sight on your spreadsheet. There are three easy ways to show formulas in Excel, and we’ll take you through them below.

So, without any further ado, let’s dive in!


How to show formulas using hide/show button

Here’s how you can quickly show formulas in Excel using a button.



Head to the Formulas tab

To start, head to the Formulas menu.

The Formulas button can be found at the top ribbon menu, between Page Layout and Data buttons.

Once you find it, click on it to open up the Formulas menu.

        Description: How to create and show formulas in a spreadsheet in Excel.



Click on the Hide/Show Formulas button

The Hide/Show Formulas button can be found in the ‘Formula Auditing’ section of the Formulas menu, on the right hand side of the ‘Trace Precedents’ button.

Once you find it, select it once, and all of your formulas will appear on your spreadsheet.

Learn how to create a spreadsheet in Excel and show formulas.

If you want to hide your formulas, then just select the Hide/Show Formulas button again and your formulas will switch to their results.


How to show formulas using a keyboard shortcut

There also exists a keyboard short through which you can quickly see formulas in Excel.



Highlight your result cells

This method uses a keyboard shortcut to switch your results to formulas.

To start, you will need to highlight all the cells of the spreadsheet which contain your results.

To do this, click and drag your cursor over them until they change to a light blue color.



Press CTRL +

Once all of your cells are highlighted, you need to press the CTRL and + buttons on your keyboard.

Press the both at the same time.

This will switch the results in your highlighted cells to show their formulas instead.


How to display a formula and its result side by side

This method will help you display both the formals and their results next to each other. This way, you can see both and not have to switch back and forth between the result and formula all the time.



Select the cell next to your results cell

To start, select an empty cell that can be adjacent to the results cell.




In this empty selected cell, you will need to type =FORMULATEXT into the text bar.

This function will then need to be followed by the reference of the results cell in brackets.

For example, if your results are in cell D7, then you will need to type =FORMULATEXT(D7) in the selected cell.

When you select a different cell, the formula will then appear.

How to create a spreadsheet in Excel and show formulas.
How to create a spreadsheet in Excel and show formulas.


So, those are three different methods you can use to show formulas in Excel. Whether you prefer to use a quick shortcut on your keyboard or use the convenient button on the Formulas menu, there is a method that is right for you.

Learn more about Excel through these helpful guides:

Kevin is the Editor of PC Guide. He has a broad interest and enthusiasm for consumer electronics, PCs and all things consumer tech - and more than 15 years experience in tech journalism.